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Why has Dick Cheney been on the press circuit for a week, bragging about his involvement in waterboarding suspect terrorists, snooping into the correspondence and phone calls of millions of Americans, and making blood-curdling statements about tyrannical power that are, as Bart Gellman correctly notes, “even more radical than Nixon’s”? Could it be that he’s been promised a pardon for Christmas? At today’s press gathering, White House spokesman Tony Fratto was quick to alert the media to be prepared for more pardons. Nineteen further pardons were issued this afternoon, but more are on the way, and presidents since George Washington have saved their most controversial pardons for their last day in office.
What, exactly, did Dick Cheney do that needs pardoning? Well, there’s plenty besides the torture, the snooping, and the murky Halliburton dealings in Nigeria. Murray Waas has a remarkable scoop that may go overlooked in the holiday flurry: he offers up tidbits from the notes of FBI agents who interviewed Cheney in connection with Patrick Fitzgerald’s probe into the outing of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame. The bottom line—Dick Cheney played a central role in the process, and he’s still got plenty to be worried about.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”